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Protests continue in Sopore town over alleged `fake encounter’

College students took to streets; 9 injured as police resorts to baton charge

By News Agency of Kashmir

Srinagar: About nine students were injured when police resorted to baton charge to disperse a strong mob of undergraduates of Government Degree College Sopore, who were protesting killing of one of their fellow student allegedly in a fake encounter by the security forces in Rafiabad area.

Reports reaching here revealed that the students of the college boycotted their classes on Thursday and staged a sit in outside the campus.

Raising slogans against the security forces and state government the protestors blocked Srinagar-Baramulla road demanding high level probe in the killing of Muhammad Ramzan Shah, a student of BA Part second.

The protesters alleged that Shah was a regular college student and has been killed in a fake counter by the army after being dubbed as militant.

As the protesters failed to respond the request of police officers to disperse peacefully, they were beaten up with sticks. Police also resorted to teargas shells to take control of the situation, a local resident told News Agency of Kashmir.

Protesters claimed that about nine students were injured in the police action. “They were given severe thrashing by the police and Para-military personnel”, Gulzar Ahmed, one of the protesters claimed.

“Killing of Shah should be probed at a higher level”, Aqib Rasool a student of the college said claimed, “The deceased was an innocent college student and was not involved in any kind of militancy related incident”.

Shah, as per the police and army, was an LeT militant who was gunned down during a fierce gun battle at Mawar, a village 80 kilometers (50 miles) North of Srinagar. A Pakistan national was also claimed to have gunned down in the operation.

While village Sherhama continued to maintain the peace and tranquility, it is the vested interest which has fueled law and order problems in Watergam for the first three days and is now making efforts to raise passions among the college students in Sopore. This has been stated by DIG Baramulla Kupwara range.

However, police today clarified that Shah was a militant working with LeT and rumors of this killing in `fake encounter’ was being spread by some vested interests.

DIG North Kashmir Range, Baramulla, Dr B Srinivas said that Shah was killed in a gun battle with the security forces on September 9 in village Sherhama.

“Two militants were killed in the encounter and body of Shah was later recognized by the villagers in the hospital”, he said adding, “The slain militant had no relative in the village as was being projected by the protesters”.